All posts by Graeme

What churches can do to support parents and students during the Covid-19 disruption

The Covid-19 disruption has had a huge impact on schools, and they are not going to be able to go “back to normal” anytime in 2020, or possibly even 2021. Parents are struggling to “home school”. Parents might be able to go back to work before children go back to school.

Here is a suggestion for churches, religious organisations, sports clubs and other community societies to help parents and children who are struggling right now.

Please listen and share this idea in your community. We all need to help each other deal with this Covid disruption.

SERMON: Resurrection, Sabbath and Exodus (in a time of Covid-19)

It was my turn to preach at our church this morning. My sermon is about Ressurection, Sabbath and Exodus, and can be watched at https://www.facebook.com/MelroseChurchJhbZA/posts/153826419456676

I talked about how the Resurrection of Jesus is deliberately linked back to two big themes in the Old Testament:

1. the Creation Sabbath, which reminds us that the world is meant to be a place where we all have work and rest in a natural rhythm, and

2. the Exodus Passover, which reminds us that we are not meant to be in slavery to our work.

Jesus did not come to merely save us from this world and give us a hope of life after death, he came to save us from incorrect and oppressive systems in this world. Maybe Covid-19 is the reset the world needed to move us towards this picture of what the world is meant to be.

The deepest difference in Christianity is not what you think

A few years ago, a good friend of mine, author and pastor Brian McLaren wrote a magnificent, thought-provoking piece about the type of Christianity the world needs now. It’s more relevant than ever.

For my friends who are Christian leaders, please read and re-read the last two lines a few times. That’s really the whole thing there.

QUOTE:

The deepest difference in Christianity is not what you think:

Continue reading The deepest difference in Christianity is not what you think

Lockdown Reflections: It’s the hope that nearly killed me

A Reflection during Lockdown on Good Friday, 10 April 2020:

It’s the hope that nearly killed me…

That’s a line from the amazing documentary, “Touching the Void”. Joe Simpson and his mountaineering partner Simon Yates were caught in a snowstorm on the Siula Grande in Peru. Joe broke his leg and in a failed attempt at a self rescue, was then left for dead on the mountain. He managed to get himself down the mountain, only to discover he was far away from any civilisation and had to drag himself across glaciers and rocks for a few days becoming dehydrated and frost bitten, before finally being rescued.

Having managed to get himself to the bottom of the mountain, he says that it was the dashing of his hopes of rescue at that point that was the lowest moment of the experience for him. Dashed hopes can kill you.
Continue reading Lockdown Reflections: It’s the hope that nearly killed me

ALLin Podcast Episode 12: A Community of Radical Inclusion

A Community of Radical Inclusion is a sermon preached by Graeme Codrington at the Melrose Campus of Gracepoint Methodist church in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016. It lays out both a Biblical and historical case for including LGBTQI in our churches, and affirming them as made in God’s image. 

Resources:

ALLin Podcast: Episode 11: Gender and Sport

Sport is about finding the fastest and strongest human. Almost always, this turns out to be a man. In order to allow women to compete in elite sports, we created a category for “women”, and have excluded men from competing in this category. But for over 100 years, we’ve battled to define who a woman is in sport. Back in 1936, for example, both the gold and silver winners of the 100m accused each other of being men. A “nude parade” was required for all elite women athletes – to literally stand naked in front of a panel of judges to prove they were women. This was changed in the 1960s and 70s to a “female passport”. It then shifted to chromosome testing, and today a court has confirmed it relates to hormone levels. But none of these are adequate, and all have been flawed.

This bonus episode of the ALLin podcast looks at the fascinating history of how sport has tried to define who a woman is, and what it means for us that they have essentially failed to do so in over a century.

Of course, sport is merely an example. This also applies to how we might define who can go to a girls school, or who gets counted as a woman on your Board or Executive leadership team if your country requires a specific quota of women in those positions.

This bonus episode concludes the mini-series on “Are there only two genders?”. The answer, it is clear, is NO.

Resources:

ALLin Podcast Episode 10: Did God create only two genders?

Genesis 1 and 2 tell two different creation stories, both culminating with the creation and marriage of two people. This was a Middle Eastern, black haired, brown eyed, cisgender man and woman. But does that mean all people have to Middle Eastern, black haired, brown eyed and cisgender? And does it mean all marriages must be between only a man and a woman? If not, how should we be reading Genesis 1? 

This is another one hour long episode, and you should ensure you’ve listened to Episode 9 before you listen to this.

Once you’ve listened to it, please let me know your thoughts and questions.

ALLin Podcast Episode 09: There Are More Than Two Genders

ALLin Pod is back after a short break with a two episode mini-series on “God made them male and female”. In this episode we look at the question: “How do you know if you’re male or female?” The answer will surprise you, because it is not nearly as simple as you think it is.

This episode looks at the science, biology and creation facts around gender, sex biology, sexual orientation and a number of other factors that determine male and female. We’ll see that all of these exist on a spectrum, and between 7 and 20% of the population exhibit some mixture of genders based on these factors. In addition to our longest episode yet (at just on an 1 hour), there is a list of highly recommended readings below, and a PDF slide deck to download and follow along.

RESOURCES:

ALLin Podcast: Episode 08: Abomination!

Our study of the Old Testament verses dealing with homosexuality concludes with a detailed word study of the concept of toebah ( תּוֹעֵבָה), translated as “abomination” or “detestable”. This word is used 117 times in the Bible, and it is very clear what it is referring to… and it is NOT sexual sin. 

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